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Jan Krissler also known as starbug, a member of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) has claimed to have copied a fingerprint of German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen from just basic public photos from a standard camera.

Jan Krissler explained the process in a talk he gave at Chaos Communication Congress (31C3) convention in Hamburg. The photos used were from a press event from October and were not extreme focused closeups of her thumb but rather just pretty ordinary press photos. Mr. Krissler was then able to reconstruct the thumbprint using VeriFinger software and then printed out the thumbprint on a physical dummy thumb.

Fingerprints were already considered insecure by experts, but this adds even more weight to that argument. Previously, fingerprints were stolen by taking them off any polished surface the person’s finger came into contact with such as glass or a smart phone. This new method using only photos does not require any physical object to obtain the fingerprints from.

Mr. Krissler suggested that if you didn’t want your fingerprints stolen in this method you should consider wearing gloves in public.


John Rozger

John Rozger has a BA in Computer Science and is a fledgling software and video game developer. As a lifelong gamer he enjoys writing about the gaming industry as well as computing and technology.